Annual vs perennial – What is the difference?

The spring season has officially started here at Frisella Nursery and that means that we are busy helping you get your gardens planted. Many of our guests turn to our plant specialists for their expert advice and guidance on what to plant in their gardens and one of the most common questions that we get asked in our garden center is, “What is the difference between annuals and perennials?” Today we are here to answer all of your questions about annuals and perennials!

Annual section at Frisella Nursery Annual section at Frisella Nursery

What is an annual?

Annuals tend to only last for one growing season but their beautiful blooms typically have a pretty long season. So annuals will bloom and die all in one season. Most annuals produce bright, showy blooms and are added to many flower beds and container gardens to add an extra pop of color. At Frisella Nursery we carry a wide variety of annuals from full sun and shade to part sun and shade. Our most popular annuals are petunias, begonias, and lantana –  Visit us this spring season to get all of your annuals!

What is a perennial?

Perennials are plants that can live up to three or more growing seasons. Most often, especially in the midwest, bulbs must be planted in the fall season in order to produce springtime blooms. At Frisella Nursery we have a huge variety of full sun and shade plants that are perfect for garden beds and containers. Some common perennial plants are daylilies, peonies, and hellebores. We are proud to carry a wide variety of native perennial plants that are beneficial to your local ecosystem, providing habitats for pollinators such as butterflies, birds and bees. Our most popular perennials are hostas, coral bells, and coneflowers.


What’s the difference?

The main difference between annual plants and perennial plants is that annual plants live for only one growing season and perennial plants regrow every year. Perennials typically have a shorter bloom season compared to annual plants, so many gardeners will use a combination of both annual and perennial plants in their garden beds and containers to ensure beautiful blooms for a longer period of time!

& What is a biennial?

Maybe you have heard the term biennial before and thought to yourself, “what in the world is a biennial?” We’re here to fill you in! Biennials are plants that grow for two seasons but do not bloom until they reach that second season. Biennials are fascinating because after their second season the plant will drop seeds and in two more years, your garden will have blooms from a new plant generation. That’s pretty neat, right? Gardeners can schedule staggered biennials in order to experience beautiful blooms every year. It takes a bit of planning and patience to have annual blooms of biennials in your own garden but it is well worth the effort for those beautiful blooms!


Frisella Plant Specialists helping our guests pick the perfect plants Frisella Plant Specialists helping our guests pick the perfect plants

Have questions about what plants to plant in your garden or landscape? Frisella’s Plant Specialists are here to help! Email your questions to or give us a call at (636) 798-2555.

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